Shiba Inu Aggressive Behavior
Although not necessarily prone to showing aggression, like most other breeds there can be many causes of aggressive behavior with Shiba’s. It can be due to a dominance related issue between you and your dog, or it might be a trigger that was never properly dealt with when your dog was a puppy – such as being attacked by another dog. But whatever is causing your dog’s aggression, you will need to address it as soon as possible, as the results of prolonged aggression can be both scary and also dangerous if not quickly taken to task.
The Usual Sources of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
As previously mentioned dog aggression often starts in puppyhood usually from as young as 6 weeks of age, as this is a crucial age when a puppy should be socialized with other dogs. This period of socialization lasts until the dog turns 14 weeks of age and can extend even further beyond that.
This means several things. Firstly and most importantly, never take a puppy away from its litter before 8 weeks of age as some of the best training a puppy receives regarding aggression is from its siblings. Harsh discipline should never be used for dog training but this is even more important when training a puppy between 8 and 10 weeks, so is also making sure that the puppy is very gently treated in that time. Hitting, yelling or other harsh punishments at a young age can breed aggressive behavior in dogs over time.
If you want to make sure that you do not have any problems with an aggressive Shiba, by far the most important factor is its environment. A dog that has poor living conditions, harsh masters, no socialization, or that has been frightened or attacked by another dog is far more likely to be aggressive as it ages.
Shiba Inu's can have a tendency to be dominant if allowed and aggression can grow from the need to establish a pack pecking order. Biting, posturing, and other aggressive tendencies are often the result of your Shiba testing for dominance. You'll need to establish your top of the pack status at a young age and maintain that position throughout your Shiba's adolescence to make sure that it doesn't get a chance to take control of the household.
How to Stop and Control Aggressive Behavior in Your Dog
If your Shiba exhibits aggressive behavior after 14 months of age, in other words after it has reached sexual maturity, especially if it has been neutered, you should address the problem immediately. The first thing to do is establish yourself as the pack leader and make sure that your do not reward your dog for aggressive behavior, even if it is scared (especially so in this case).
To become pack leader it is important that you take control of feeding always making sure that you eat first. Walking and sleeping are also aspects of your dog's life that you need be in control of always making sure that you sleep on a higher elevation than your dog. (not letting your Shiba sleep on the bed) If you defer to the dog or allow it to take liberties in your home, it will exhibit stronger aggression toward others.
If your Shiba is defensive-aggressive, then it may strike out at a person or another dog as a response to fear. Keep them away from small children (which they may see as direct threats) and attend a training session or behaviorist who can slowly acclimate the dog to a social atmosphere.